Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats
By James D. Murray, William vanRyper
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: July 1994
Pages: 928

There are many different file formats used for storing graphics data; such data includes vector graphics, ray tracing, black-and-white photographs, truecolor images, animation data, motion video, and multimedia data. The Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats covers them all, nearly 100: from major, standardized formats, like GIF, TIFF, TGA, and BMP to newer or specialized formats, like SGI YAODL, Rayshade, and Facesaver. If you are a graphics programmer who needs to know the details of a format (whether it's big- or little-endian, how many colors can be stored, and precisely what data appears in each bit or pixel) or anyone else who needs to deal with the low-level technical details of graphics files, this book is for you.

The Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats is truly definitive; it's the book that will become a classic for programmers on any platform-- MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2, UNIX, the Macintosh, and others.

In addition to describing the details of the file formats, the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats contains a detailed discussion of graphics concepts and programming, covering such topics as types of graphics data (vector, bitmap, metafile, scene description, animation, multimedia), truecolor, palettes, and color--its perception, conversion, and quantization. It describes in detail different methods of compressing graphics data (e.g., run-length encoding, LZW, CCITT, JPEG) and ways of converting from one type of file format to another. It also includes information on new graphics initiatives, including JPEG (an emerging image data compression standard of particular interest in multimedia technology) and MPEG (a set of digital and audio compression standards for sound and motion picture data).

Best of all, this book comes with a CD-ROM on which we've included a collection of resources that are hard for individuals to find (in many cases, they have never before been available outside the organizations that developed them). We've assembled original file format specification documents from such vendors as Adobe, Aldus, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Silicon Graphics, along with test images and code examples for many of the formats. Also on the CD-ROM is a set of free or public domain software and shareware--for MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2, UNIX, and Macintosh platforms--that will let you convert, view, and manipulate graphics files and images.

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